This is always the low point. When the Hawaii game comes on, you know you're not going to get a game that demands any significant level of attention, and you know that there is no reason for you to be awake.
This is usually where things get weird. Or weirder.
The good news? Sim F'ing Bhullar.
5:17 - Feels so good to be back for my annual one morning a year with Kanoa Leahey. He's like that one aunt that I only see at Thanksgiving, except he's not constantly hinting that I should have finished law school.
5:20 - Bhullar dunks and I'm more awake than I've been in two hours. New Mexico State up early, 16-13.
5:22 - Just going to get this out of my system early...drop 'bows on 'em.
5:25 - So many Forgetting Sarah Marshall jokes to make, so little energy.
5:29 - I was not aware that the 7'5 Sim Bhullar had a younger brother, Tanveer Bhullar, who was 7'3 and also on the New Mexico State roster. Apparently Tanveer will likely be redshirted this season. I say to hell with that and get them on the floor at the same time tonight.
NMSU leads, 23-20 with 9 minutes left in the first half. Both Bhullars currently on the bench.
5:44 - New Mexico State with the largest lead of the morning at 10. Pace still seems to be more in Hawaii's favor, but Bhullar is doing a relatively good job getting up and down the floor.
5:47 - I would not hurt anyone for Isaac Fotu's hair. Don't get me wrong, it's incredible, just not a look I can pull off.
5:55 - Hawaii gets the lead down to six and the crowd into the game, and DK Eldridge promptly completes a four-point play to push the lead back to 10.
5:58 - Aggies up 46-37 at the break. Eldridge leads all scorers with 11.
6:04 - The repeat halftime show is always BRUTAL during the early a.m. games. Play me old tournament clips or old SportsCenter commercials or something.
6:16 - Dunk City comin'.
6:28 - The New Mexico State lead has hovered around 10 for what feels like 15 hours now. Hawaii is playing with more effort than I've ever seen them give in this game, but they just don't appear to be on the Aggies' level right now.
Still New Mexico State up 10, 66-56, with 10:30 left.
6:42 - We have our first tip-off marathon ejection. It's Hawaii's Keith Shamburger, who picks up his second technical after mouthing off to NMSU's K.C. Ross-Miller. Interesting note about Ross-Miller: he was actually the second player to commit to Billy Gillispie at Kentucky when he did so back in 2007. The only thing is he didn't graduate high school until 2010. He did not wind up as a Wildcat.
Aggies in control, 73-60 at the under 8.
6:50 - New Mexico State is shooting 81 percent in the second half and 60 percent for the game. You're not going to lose very often when you do that.
6:54 - One last run from the Rainbow Warriors. They'll shoot a pair of free-throws to try and get the lead down to seven after the under 4 timeout. Really impressed with the way Hawaii has competed. The Big West is a wide-open league and they'll be able to compete.
7:00 - It's pretty obvious that Sim Bhullar works his ass off. You have to if you're going to be that big and get up and down the floor as much as he does. You also have to if you're going to shoot free-throws as well as he does when you're basically shooting them one-handed. NMSU still in control with 2:30 to go.
7:13 - Annnddd K.C. Ross-Miller gets T'd up. A ridiculous mistake that gives Hawaiii some life with 37 seconds left. This game will never end.
7:18 - Annddd now a technical on Hawaii for calling a timeout when they didn't have any. Seriously, this game will never end.
7:25 - Hawaii makes it interesting(?) in the final minutes, but a big jumper by Ross-Miller and some late free-throws ultimately puts this one on ice. New Mexico State takes it, 95-88, and in the process hands the Rainbow Warriors just their second loss in six marathon appearances.
|New Mexico State Aggies|
|Tshilidzi Nephawe, F||1-2||0-0||2-2||0||4||4||0||0||1||1||3||4|
|Sim Bhullar, C||6-7||0-0||3-6||1||9||10||0||0||4||3||4||15|
|K.C. Ross-Miller, G||3-9||1-4||10-12||1||3||4||2||2||0||5||3||17|
|Daniel Mullings, G||6-11||1-1||8-12||1||1||2||5||1||1||3||4||21|
|DK Eldridge, G||5-9||3-5||2-3||1||6||7||2||0||0||3||3||15|
|Renaldo Dixon, F||0-0||0-0||0-0||1||2||3||0||0||0||0||3||0|
|Remi Barry, F||7-8||0-0||4-5||3||3||6||1||0||0||0||1||18|
|Kevin Aronis, G||1-4||1-4||0-0||0||0||0||1||0||0||2||1||3|
|Travon Landry, G||1-2||0-0||0-0||0||2||2||2||1||0||1||0||2|
|Isaac Fotu, F||7-15||1-4||5-7||4||5||9||1||0||0||1||2||20|
|Christian Standhardinger, F||3-12||0-2||3-4||2||3||5||3||2||1||1||2||9|
|Aaron Valdes, G||3-8||0-2||0-0||1||1||2||0||0||1||1||2||6|
|Garrett Nevels, G||8-16||4-6||6-9||0||2||2||3||2||1||0||3||26|
|Keith Shamburger, G||2-4||1-3||1-2||0||1||1||2||1||0||1||3||6|
|Michael Thomas, F||0-2||0-1||0-0||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||4||0|
|Davis Rozitis, C||2-3||0-0||2-2||0||3||3||1||3||3||1||2||6|
|Brandon Jawato, G||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||1||0|
|Dyrbe Enos, G||0-1||0-1||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||0|
|Quincy Smith, G||5-9||1-1||4-6||0||0||0||2||0||0||2||5||15|
Until next year, 'Bows. Take me back to the mainland.